WOODPECKERS   -   PICIDAE   -   PART I

Piculets to Veniliornis woodpeckers

Orinoco Piculet - Picumnus pumilus
Orinoco Piculet
Picumnus pumilus
Mitú, Vaupés department, Colombia.
Male, with short yellow streaks on the forehead. One of my rarest photos, possibly the best in existence (at time of writing) of this extremely localized species. It's found only in eastern Colombia, northwestern Brazil, and southern Venezuela. It is quite common around Mitú, and can be seen nearly every day in appropriate habitat. (S6)


Lafresnaye's Piculet - Picumnus lafresnayi
Lafresnaye's Piculet
Picumnus lafresnayi lafresnayi
WildSumaco Lodge, Napo province, Ecuador.
Male. A common piculet in the eastern Amazon and adjacent lower Andean slopes. (S7)


Bar-breasted Piculet - Picumnus aurifrons
Bar-breasted Piculet
Picumnus aurifrons wallacii
Careiro da Varzea, Amazonas state, Brazil.
Male. A distinctive race with spots on the lower underparts rather than streaks. (D3)


Black-dotted Piculet - Picumnus nigropunctatus
Golden-spangled (Black-dotted) Piculet
Picumnus exilis nigropunctatus
Caño Colorado, Monagas state, Venezuela.
Female. This subspecies is endemic to the Orinoco delta region of Venezuela. It is sometimes treated as a full species and called Black-dotted or Black-spotted Piculet. Compare with the next photo. (D3)


Golden-spangled Piculet - Picumnus exilis
Golden-spangled Piculet
Picumnus exilis pernambucensis
Reserva Biológica de Saltinho, Pernambuco state, Brazil.
Male. (S6)


Ecuadorian Piculet - Picumnus sclateri
Ecuadorian Piculet
Picumnus sclateri sclateri
Zapotillo, Loja province, Ecuador.
Female. It's range extends from western Ecuador to northwestern Peru, where it inhabits dry forests. (S8)


Scaled Piculet - Picumnus squamulatus
Scaled Piculet
Picumnus squamulatus rohli
Cotumbo road, Aragua state, Venezuela.
Male. As far as I know, every member of this genus can be sexed by the presence or absence of red or copper on the crown, though the amount and pattern varies. (D3)


Scaled Piculet - Picumnus squamulatus White-bellied Piculet - Picumnus spilogaster
Scaled Piculet
Picumnus squamulatus rohli
Minca, Magdalena department, Colombia.
Female. (S5)
White-bellied Piculet
Picumnus spilogaster orinocensis
Los Güires, Delta Amacuro state, Venezuela.
Male. This is the race from eastern Venezuela and the Guianas. The nominate race is quite different and looks a lot more like Black-dotted Piculet. (D3)


Spotted Piculet - Picumnus pygmaeus
Spotted Piculet
Picumnus pygmaeus
Lençois, Bahia state, Brazil
Male. Endemic to NE Brazil, but with a much larger range than the next one. (D3)


White-barred Piculet - Picumnus cirratus
White-barred Piculet
Picumnus cirratus pilcomayensis
San Lorenzo, Salta province, Argentina.
Male. The lack of distinct barring on some of the underparts makes me wonder if this could be an intergrade with Ocellated Piculet P. dorbignyanus, which also occurs here. (S6)


White-barred Piculet - Picumnus cirratus
White-barred Piculet
Picumnus cirratus cirratus
Reserva Ecologica de Guapi Assu, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil.
Female. A common bird in southeast Brazil, extending into adjacent parts of Paraguay. There is also a disjunct race around the mouth of the Amazon River. (S5f)


Ochre-collared Piculet - Picumnus temminckii
Ochre-collared Piculet
Picumnus temminckii
Iguazú National Park, Misiones province, Argentina.
Male. This distinctive piculet is endemic to the southern part of the Atlantic Rainforest region. (S6)


White-wedged Piculet - Picumnus albosquamatus
White-wedged Piculet
Picumnus albosquamatus guttifer
Canastra NP, Minas Gerais state, Brazil.
Female. A common bird of south central Brazil and adjacent Bolivia. Here it is right at the edge of its range. This is the only one I've ever seen in Canastra, where White-barred Piculet P. cirratus is still the common piculet. (S5)


Tawny Piculet - Picumnus fulvescens
Tawny Piculet
Picumnus fulvescens
Fazenda Pedra D'Anta, Pernambuco state, Brazil.
Female. Endemic to NE Brazil. (S6)


Mottled Piculet - Picumnus nebulosus
Mottled Piculet
Picumnus nebulosus
Serra Geral National Park, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil.
Female. This piculet is found in far southern Brazil, Uruguay, and adjacent parts of northeastern Argentina. (S8)


Chestnut Piculet - Picumnus cinnamomeus
Chestnut Piculet
Picumnus cinnamomeus cinnamomeus
Perico, Guajira department, Colombia.
Male. Found from northern Colombia to northwestern Venezuela, where it lives in dry scrub and woodland. (S6)

White Woodpecker - Melanerpes candidus
White Woodpecker
Melanerpes candidus
Pousada Piuval, Pantanal, Mato Grosso state, Brazil.
Male, with yellow on the hindneck. (D4)


White Woodpecker - Melanerpes candidus
White Woodpecker
Melanerpes candidus
Pousada Piuval, Pantanal, Mato Grosso state, Brazil.
Female, lacking yellow on the hindneck. (S6)


Acorn Woodpecker - Melanerpes formicivorus
Acorn Woodpecker
Melanerpes formicivorus striatipectus
Savegre Mountain Hotel, San Gerardo de Dota, San José province, Costa Rica.
Male. A familiar species for a lot of birders for the US and Canada, famous for its behavior of collecting acorns and storing them in holes in trees. They are dependent on oak forests and their range mirrors that of the oaks, reaching as far south as the Colombian Andes. This one was visiting a fruit and seed feeder at the lodge. (S6)


Yellow-tufted Woodpecker - Melanerpes cruentatus
Yellow-tufted Woodpecker
Melanerpes cruentatus
Mitú, Vaupés department, Colombia.
Male. A common and widespread woodpecker occuring all through the Amazon and surrounding regions. (S6)


Yellow-tufted Woodpecker - Melanerpes cruentatus
Yellow-tufted Woodpecker
Melanerpes cruentatus
Cotundo, Napo province, Ecuador.
Female. (S6)


Yellow-fronted Woodpecker - Melanerpes flavifrons
Yellow-fronted Woodpecker
Melanerpes flavifrons
Intervales SP, São Paulo state, Brazil.
Male. One of the gaudiest of the neotropical woodpeckers. Like other Melanerpes, it is partly frugivorous and frequently visits fruit feeders. (S5)


Yellow-fronted Woodpecker - Melanerpes flavifrons
Yellow-fronted Woodpecker
Melanerpes flavifrons
Iguazú National Park, Misiones province, Argentina.
Female. She lacks the red crown. (S6)


Beautiful Woodpecker - Melanerpes pulcher
Beautiful Woodpecker
Melanerpes pulcher
El Paujil reserve, Santander department, Colombia.
A pair, the female is above, the male below. Endemic to Colombia, though it is sometimes lumped with the similar Golden-naped Woodpecker (M. chrysauchen) of Central America. (S5)


Beautiful Woodpecker - Melanerpes pulcher
Beautiful Woodpecker
Melanerpes pulcher
El Paujil reserve, Santander department, Colombia.
Male. Like others of the genus, it eats a lot of fruit. (S5)


Black-cheeked Woodpecker - Melanerpes pucherani
Black-cheeked Woodpecker
Melanerpes pucherani
Mirador Rio Blanco, San Miguel de Los Bancos, Pichincha province, Ecuador.
Male. (S8)


Black-cheeked Woodpecker - Melanerpes pucherani
Black-cheeked Woodpecker
Melanerpes pucherani
Arenal Observatory Lodge, Alajuela province, Costa Rica.
Male above, female below. (S8)


White-fronted Woodpecker - Melanerpes cactorum Golden-cheeked Woodpecker - Melanerpes chrysogenys flavinuchus
White-fronted Woodpecker
Melanerpes cactorum
Caiman Lodge, Mato Grosso de Sul state, Brazil.
Female. Found in dry forest and savanna of south-central South America. (D3)
Golden-cheeked Woodpecker
Melanerpes chrysogenys flavinuchus
Zipolite, Oaxaca state, Mexico
Male. Probably a juvenile since the red does not come all the way up the crown. Endemic to western Mexico. (S5)


Hoffmann's Woodpecker - Melanerpes hoffmannii
Hoffmann's Woodpecker
Melanerpes hoffmannii
Monteverde, Puntarenas province, Costa Rica.
Male. (D3)


Red-crowned Woodpecker - Melanerpes rubricapillus
Red-crowned Woodpecker - Melanerpes rubricapillus
Red-crowned Woodpecker
Melanerpes rubricapillus rubricapillus
Henri Pittier NP, Aragua state, Venezuela.
Male.(D3)
Red-crowned Woodpecker
Melanerpes rubricapillus rubricapillus
Henri Pittier NP, Aragua state, Venezuela.
Female. (D3)


Smoky-brown Woodpecker - Picoides fumigatus
Smoky-brown Woodpecker
Picoides fumigatus fumigatus
Tandayapa Bird Lodge, Pichincha province, Ecuador.
Female. A common and widespread species in neotropical cloudforest. (S7)


White-spotted Woodpecker - Veniliornis spilogaster
White-spotted Woodpecker
Veniliornis spilogaster
Aparados da Serra National Park, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil.
Female. (D4)

Checkered Woodpecker - Veniliornis mixtus Blood-colored Woodpecker - Veniliornis sanguineus
Checkered Woodpecker
Veniliornis mixtus malleator
18 km northeast of JV Gonzales, Salta, Argentina.
Female. (S5)
Blood-colored Woodpecker
Veniliornis sanguineus
Georgetown Botanical Gardens, Guyana.
Male. Endemic to the coastal lowlands of the Guianas. (D3)


Little Woodpecker - Veniliornis passerinus
Little Woodpecker
Veniliornis passerinus agilis
WildSumaco, Napo province, Ecuador.
Female. A widespread South American woodpecker; avoids mature forest, preferring edge, clearings, and lighter woodland. (S7)


Scarlet-backed Woodpecker - Veniliornis callonotus
Scarlet-backed Woodpecker
Veniliornis callonotus callonotus
Río Ayampe, Manabí province, Ecuador.
Male. (S8)


Yellow-vented Woodpecker - Veniliornis dignus
Yellow-vented Woodpecker
Veniliornis dignus dignus

Chical, Carchi province, Ecuador.
Male. A bird of Andean cloudforest from SW Venezuela to Peru. (S7)


Yellow-vented Woodpecker - Veniliornis dignus
Yellow-vented Woodpecker
Veniliornis dignus dignus

Chical, Carchi province, Ecuador.
Female, having red only on the nape. (S7)


Bar-bellied Woodpecker - Veniliornis nigriceps
Bar-bellied Woodpecker
Veniliornis nigriceps equifasciatus
Yanacocha reserve, Pichincha province, Ecuador.

Female. An uncommon woodpecker that inhabits high Andean forests from Colombia to Bolivia. (S6)



Red-stained Woodpecker - Veniliornis affinis
Red-stained Woodpecker
Veniliornis affinis affinis
Muricí, Alagoas state, Brazil.
Male. (S6)


Choco Woodpecker - Veniliornis chocoensis
Choco Woodpecker
Veniliornis chocoensis
La Unión, Esmeraldas province, Ecuador.
Male. This is a rare and local species found in the lowlands and lower foothills at the western base of the Andes in Colombia and NW Ecuador. It is still seen quite regularly at this site. (S8)


Choco Woodpecker - Veniliornis chocoensis
Choco Woodpecker
Veniliornis chocoensis
La Unión, Esmeraldas province, Ecuador.
Pair; the male is the one on the bottom with the red crown. A closer shot of the female is below. (S7)


Choco Woodpecker - Veniliornis chocoensis
Choco Woodpecker
Veniliornis chocoensis
La Unión, Esmeraldas province, Ecuador.
Female. (S7)


Yellow-eared Woodpecker - Veniliornis maculifrons
Yellow-eared Woodpecker
Veniliornis maculifrons
Carmo, Rio de Janiero state, Brazil.
Male. Endemic to the Atlantic Rainforest of southeastern Brazil. (S6)


















Website design and all photos copyright Nick Athanas
For questions, comments, or photograph licensing info, please email